What was it that made you want to do an IT apprenticeship?
When the opportunity came to apply for an IBM apprenticeship I couldn’t grasp it quickly enough. Sitting my exams, I started to realise how scarce university places are becoming and even more so, the lack to jobs available to post graduates - so I jumped at the opportunity of starting a career without a degree.
What was your role and what did it involve on a typical day?
I am an Integrated Supply Chain Specialist and have been rotating around different departments within the Integrated Supply Chain division on IBM based in Greenock, Scotland. So far I have worked within the Demand Planning, Global Operations, Customer Fulfilment, Sales Reporting and Engineering departments. On a daily basis, I work along side different team members and learn how to complete different tasks so I can take ownership of them towards the second half of my rotation.
What was the most valuable thing you learnt during your apprenticeship?
The most valuable thing I have learned since starting my apprenticeship is that if you want to reach your goal, you’ll have to do the best you can to get there. There is a lot more responsibility coming into a full time job than being a pupil in high school, I have to take ownership for my own learning and be prepared to tackle any obstacles that I come across with confidence.
What advice would you give to anyone who is considering an apprenticeship?
I would advise anyone considering an IBM apprenticeship to apply even if they are unsure. Applying and attending the assessment centre does not guarantee a job but if you do pass all stages, you do not have to accept the offer until you are positive that it’s what you want to do. The apprenticeship is a great opportunity and provides the foundation you need to pursue a career without needing a degree.
Tell us something about apprenticeships that can’t be found on websites?
The apprenticeship has allowed me to take part in extraordinary opportunities for example being that I have attended a round table with the corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, an opportunity that most people would love to do. For the short time I have been in IBM, it has already provided me with an outstanding CV.
Any additional comments, thoughts, useful information?
Here in Scotland, an apprenticeship is associated with people who leave school to work in trade because they may not have the qualifications to go to university (this isn’t necessarily true). The IBM apprenticeship is a great alternative giving you the chance to gain highly thought of experience, an asset that no university student will gain until they graduate. Think of the apprenticeship as skipping a step.